This blog explains why we do not make predictions in family law. Every day, we get phone calls from people every day, and they usually start by telling us about an issue they have. They tell us a story about what their ex or soon-to-be-ex did, why it upset them, and then they ask, “if I take that person to court, what’s going to happen?”. They truly expect an accurate answer to that question. Many people expect this prediction prior to us being hired for anything, prior to booking a consultation, and after only about 5 minutes of obviously one-sided information.
We would never make predictions under those circumstances, and it would be irresponsible to even begin to. As a matter of fact, we can never truly make a prediction with regard to what is going to happen with your family law case, and there are several reasons why. In this blog, we will explain some of those reasons. Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
There are just too many factors involved to make predictions
First, not all family law cases are created equally. There are child custody, child support, divorce, equitable distribution, and many other causes of action. Some of the factors in family law cases include but are not limited to:
- The length of the marriage, behavior of the parties, whether someone is a dependent spouse, and disparity of income earning potential in an equitable distribution or alimony case
- The income of both parties, the number of children, and health care and child care expense in a child support case
- The living situation, special training, school district residence, and past and current behavior of both parents in a child custody case
No matter how experienced your family law attorney is, the fact that every case is different is always prevalent.
Your attorney often doesn’t have all the information
Your attorney is only going to have the information you give him or her and the information they can obtain through discovery. This is one of the reasons it is very important to tell your attorney everything. Also, information changes constantly with regard to circumstances and situations in the lives of the parties involved in a family law case.
Your attorney is not the person who decides what happens
Finally, probably the most important consideration is that a lot of things are out of your attorney’s hands. The opposing party will have some say in how things go, you will have some say in how things go, but ultimately in many of these cases, it is up to the judge.
Asking us how a judge is going to decide something is also pointless on many levels because judges are individual people, which means several things apply, included but not limited to:
- They don’t all think the same way (and you can’t decide which judge is going to be assigned to your case)
- Even within the same judge, that person is not going to decide everything the same way every time
You can get a lot of good information from setting up a family law consultation, but predictions are not going to be one of them. If you are in need of a family law attorney, contact us.